Los Angeles Lakers Pick Apart Denver Nuggets in Series Opening Rout
Anthony Davis had 37 points and 10 rebounds in the win
The Los Angeles Lakers took care of business in Game One of the Western Conference Finals and defeated the Denver Nuggets 126-114.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 37 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the first conference finals game of his career. LeBron James chipped in with 15 points, 12 assists and six rebounds.
Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic both finished with 21 points apiece in the loss. Plagued by foul trouble throughout the contest, the Nuggets big man was limited to 25 minutes. Though he scored pretty well, Jokic was taken out of his game as he had just two assists and four turnovers.
Denver had a two-point lead after the first quarter, but the Lakers took over in the second frame. Los Angeles went on a 17-1 run over the first five minutes of the second quarter to gain control.
In the second half, the Lakers prevented the Nuggets from putting together another second half rally. Los Angeles outscored Denver 33-20 in the third quarter and took a 24-point lead into the final quarter.
The first half saw both teams committing plenty of fouls. Los Angeles shot 23 free throws in the second quarter and 32 in the first half.
An X factor in the game and potentially the series for the Lakers was Dwight Howard. The former Defensive Player of the Year had 13 points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. A constant nuisance, Howard caused Jokic to pick up two offensive fouls in the second quarter. He ended up starting the second half in place of JaVale McGee.
An afterthought in the last round due to a poor matchup, Howard played more minutes in Game One against Denver than he did in five games against the Houston Rockets.
Game Two will be played on Sunday night. The third game of the Eastern Conference Finals will be played tonight between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. Miami holds a 2-0 series advantage.
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